God is Good!

Seek the Lord while He may be found!


Aerial view of Bethel, Alaska, via Wikipedia

Aerial view of Bethel, Alaska, via Wikipedia

All through life I have sought adventure – to find exhilarating things to do! I didn’t want life to be a boring, dragged out series of days. In the Seminary, my plans revolved around the goal of joining the Maryknoll Missionaries after Ordination and volunteering for work in China. In the 1940’s, China still had an open door policy to the world. Unforeseen home obligations prevented me from doing this, much to my disappointment. However, all that planning about China filled my days in the Seminary with excitement and motivation to prepare myself as well as possible for the missions.

At the age of 57, some forty years ago, I resigned as Pastor from St. Barnabas Parish in Chicago, and volunteered to serve the Eskimo missions in the Fairbanks Diocese of Northern Alaska. This, I knew, would be my last chance to be a missionary. I dreamed of offering Mass in isolated Eskimo villages along the wild Yukon and Kuskokwim Rivers in far Western Alaska. Because of a shortage of priests, these Eskimos (with definite Chinese features) heard Mass only once a month. All these dreams came true! No running water or indoor plumbing!

In my time there, I delighted in living with the Eskimos, a kind, gentle people, in a different culture, far away from home. In the wild beauty of Alaska, my cup of adventure overflowed with exhilaration. At the present time, I still think of Alaska, “The Last Frontier”.

We can all seek adventure in life, right here in our home grounds. Without adventure, our lives can become days of quiet desperation. I have discovered that the greatest of all adventures is to search for God, The Father, The Son and the Holy Spirit. The dictionary defines the word “adventure” as an exciting experience or undertaking. The search for the Great God involves serving This Holy One with love and offering due praise and worship.

If we dream of God, no day will drag out in grinding despair. Despite trials, sufferings of all kinds, a joyous spirit within us will lift up our lives in an exciting way. As my days come to an end, in my efforts to pursue this adventure of God, I cry out every day, “O God, I want to know You better, love You more dearly and walk more closely in Your footsteps.”

Our striving to discover God brings excitement and joy into our days! After preaching thousands of homilies about God, I feel I have only scraped the surface of knowledge of this Father, Son and Holy Spirit. As we treasure God in friendship, we work to make our lives more pleasing to the Creator, the Redeemer, and the Sanctifier, not out of fear of hell, but out of Love!

Fr. George Mc Kenna

October 3, 2015 - Posted by | Bulletins | , , , , , ,


  1. Hi father Mckenna I sure did enjoy reading this post. It brings such optimism to life even when we get a curve ball. Some of us were at my moms last night and enjoyed conversation about Marist homecoming and the dance tonight. Marty and Annie are both going so Monica and pat will be busy getting corsages and taking pictures. Enjoy this fall season Affectionately Kathy graham. (Monica’s sister)

    Sent from my iPhone


    Comment by Kathleen Graham | October 3, 2015 | Reply

  2. Father George,
    I am glad you finally were able to live your dream of a missionary. I am glad you did not go to China in the 40’s, as I would have never met you at Quigley. You did a great deal of good and inspirited many ‘to be’ priests’ while you were at Quibley, so God had a specific plan for you in the early days of your priesthood. Thank you for your friendship.
    Dave Grayson

    Comment by Dave Grayson | October 3, 2015 | Reply

  3. Hi Father McKenna… I have always loved reading your posts and your newsletters at Queen of Martyrs Chapel. Your words are inspirational and bring scripture to an everyday point of view that everyone can relate to. I hope this finds you in good health. Enjoy this beautiful fall weather we are having! God bless you everyday! Rita Parsons

    Comment by Rita | October 3, 2015 | Reply

  4. Dear Father George, thank you for the uplifting story of your quest for adventures while serving thy Lord.
    I am now in the autumn of my life & at times I feel so useless, you inspire me to look at this stage of life as a new adventure to serve the Lord. You have given me my enthusiasm for life back. God bless you

    Comment by Toody Parker | October 3, 2015 | Reply

  5. Great message and words of peace and wisdom, shared.mtpd

    Comment by Tom Dubrick | October 3, 2015 | Reply

  6. How perfectly you remind us Fr. George, that each day is truly an adventure of discovery of God’s Will in this gift of life’s journey…that each moment is leading us to the threshold of Eternity. You shepherd His flock so very well, we the sheep are so grateful! God Bless you forever Fr. George! Love & Gratitude, marianne

    Comment by mcs | October 4, 2015 | Reply

  7. May you continue to be blessed by God’s words of wisdom for all of us to be inspired. Thank you Fr. McKenna. Pam Gervais

    Comment by Anonymous | October 5, 2015 | Reply

  8. Hi Fr. George! Thank you for sharing this story of how you came to end up in Alaska! I bet that it felt like such an adventure. You were 57 when you went there? That is the age that I am now! I know the feeling of seeking adventure – I once asked Tim to describe me in one word, and he said ‘searching’. And I guess that is true – I am always searching for something exciting or different – to push myself out of my comfort zone. Anyone who knows me knows that I am really afraid of heights – yet on my 55th birthday, I decided to go skydiving! I was initially going to go and ride the ‘big’ Ferris wheel in Seattle, but it was such a beautiful day, that I decided, it wasn’t exciting enough and so, Tim and I – off we went into the wild blue yonder and jumped out of a perfectly good airplane at 13,000 feet! It was exhilarating! We also went paragliding in Chamonix, France, in the Alps! (that was actually much more scary!). Anyway, in reading this post, what struck me was that when I was younger, and my mom was in her 50’s (my age now), I thought that she was so old, but now that I am that age, and the age when you set off for Alaska – I see that age really is just a number and there can be old-acting people even at a very young age. When my mom was in her 90’s, in the nursing home, she used to talk about the other residents as ‘those old people’. She didn’t see herself as one of those old people!

    And when we first were going to Europe (my first trip there), I remember you told me, ‘you’ll never be the same’. and that’s true – it opened up my eyes to a bigger world and one that I want to keep finding out about! We enjoyed being in France and being among people that only speak French – that too, broadens you when you are not in a place where everyone speaks English. We hope to go to Italy next year and see more of the hill towns and smaller villages – where most people will probably speak very little English, so I am going to try and learn some basic Italian.

    And I love your line about knowing God better. I have that song from Godspell, Day by Day: To see Thee more clearly, love Thee more dearly, follow Thee more nearly, day by day. If we all did that and followed the greatest commandment, to love one another – how wonderful and peaceful this world would be!

    Thank you for all the love and joy you bring to so many around the world, my dear friend! I love you!

    Comment by Nancy Kolember Westvang | October 25, 2015 | Reply

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